Capital outskirts, hilltop woods,
"When will it be time for us to make our move?"
One of the lords asked. He was growing impatient from all the waiting.
The Capital could not see what was happening outside due to the veil of black smoke, but it was also true the other way around. No one outside could see what was happening inside. However, the bugs had begun spilling outwards and not just towards the Capital.
"We will move once they all exhausted their strength in defending at against the Deadeye Spiders. Furthermore, the Queen had not made her move yet. We cannot move ahead of her."
The Queen was their biggest problem. Being secluded in the palace for so many years without outside interaction, no one knew how exactly powerful her majesty had become. They had to tread each step carefully. One wrong move could spell the destruction of all their families.
At the mention of the bugs, the faces of all the lords and members of the four great families could no longer remain calm.
They had been told about the existence of these creatures that lurked under the Capital, but it still came as greater shock to them when they actually witness the creatures with their own eyes.
It was unbelievable that they had obliviously spent most of their life living above such an abominable existence and unbeknownst to them.
Watching the sea of crawlers continuing to expand, they began to grow nervous. Such numbers had far exceeded their expectations.
"Quiet. Someone is coming."
Suddenly, they found that someone was flying towards the Capital. The four great family hid behind the covers of the trees and watched the figure approach.
"Isn't that the general marquis? What is he doing here?"
They were surprised at the arrival of such a strong awakener. The general marquis rarely leaves the western frontier.
They didn't believe the general marquis could see what was happening to the Capital from the western frontier. The distance between the two places weren't exactly far, but it wasn't close either.
However, under the cover of the night, it should have been exceedingly difficult to see the smokes rising from Capital. Which means, the general marquis' visit to the Capital was pure coincidence.
They lament at the bad timing.
"No need to pay him any attention. He would not be able to disrupt our plans." Sir Zagan said nonchalantly before no long paying the newcomer any further attention.
A 9th step awakener was just an ant to him. The newcomer would not be able to stir big waves.
The lords were taken aback. The general marquis was someone on par with them, but sir Zagan didn't put the general marquis in his eyes.
This… was a bit too arrogant, no? They didn't know how powerful sir Zagan was, but they always felt suppressed by some invisible pressure just being in his presence. Thus, they could only assume he was very powerful.
Little did they know, the general marquis had already advanced to one star and could continue making breakthroughs in a very short time if he cultivated.
Wind was present everywhere and very chaotic, but also easily manipulated. Due to its nature, it did not belong to the five elements that formed a perfect cycle and balance. But this didn't mean it was worse than any of the five elements. Whether it is weak or strong was dependent on the user.
The surrounding lands outside the Capital mainly comprised of farmlands, growing the crops that sustained the kingdom's population. There were many farmers that chose to live on their farmlands instead of inside the Capital due to convenience of their work.
The farmers gathered and watched the burning Capital roughly two miles away. They did not dare to head over to investigate as they were afraid of being caught up in the chaos. They were just ordinary folks.
The people who had the galls to blow up the Capital couldn't possibly be ordinary. What could they do?
Among these farmers, Rowan watched the rising black smoke in his wheelchair with trepidation along with his servant.
"It was a good call to leave the Capital early, young master." Enzo said with some fear.
"Good call… good call…" Rowan gave him a thumbs up, but his sight was still glued on the Capital with wide eyes.
"Hmm? Isn't that master?" Enzo suddenly spotted Hendrick in the skies.
"Father?" Rowan turned to look, before growing ecstatic.
Rowan shouted, but it was a pity that the general marquis did not hear him.
When Hendrick Graham saw the burning capital in the distance, he immediately sped towards it. He arrived at the outskirts of the Capital shortly.
"What the hell happened here? Who has the gall to attack the Capital? Where do these things come from?"
Hendrick frowned with concern.
Due to the low altitude of his flight, he could not see past the veil of black smoke.
He swiped his hand and a strong gale blew away the smoke with ease. The situation of the Capital was laid bare to him. He didn't stay idle and immediately flew over to assist the people defend.
The black smoke closed back up shortly after, but the people outside was able to get a glimpse of what was happening inside. They paled at the sight.
Crawlers. Unending streams of them.
"Young master, those things are starting to towards us. We should retreat further back." Enzo suggested.
Rowan nodded with a heavy expression.
By now, the commoners could no longer keep calm, especially the rear. Tragic cries and screams of the city guards made the legs turn weak, but they didn't dare to look back. Run!
"Move faster! Get to the walls!"
The flow of commoners sped up.
"AHHH! SAVE ME!"
Another unfortunate city guard cried before it was drowned in the sea of crawlers.
One bite was enough to make them lose strength and several more to sentence them to death. Even if Leon provided a healing pill at this point, it was too late to save them.
If Hades wants them, he would not be able to snatch them back. They were goners, both body and soul. Not a trace of their existence was left behind after being swallowed.
Owen and the surviving city guards wavered at the sight. They wish to run at this point.
"Do not falter! Do not retreat! If the spiders don't kill you, I will!" Leon roared.
If their defensive line break now, the vulnerable commoners will become their prey and their death count would soar.
The city guards grew ugly at Leon's words and their eyes were soon replaced with madness.
"Goddammit! Even if you must die, kill as many of them as you can for me!" Owen roared.
The city guards uttered war cries and started hacking up the crawlers indiscriminately in their frenzied state.
Die! Die! Die!
The crawlers were pushed back slightly form their efforts.
"Your highness." The palace guards greeted upon arrival.
"Assist them! Don't let too many of them die!"
"Yes, your highness."
The palace guards flattened the crawlers with their earth abilities and a gap was created between them. The pressure on the city guards lessen dramatically, but instead of retreating, they charged into the sea of crawlers.
They no longer cared for their life and death. The blood on their hand was a bit heavy from the crimes they committed in their last decade. They hoped that by killing more crawlers, their sin could be reduced and be blessed with a clean slate in their next life.
At this moment, the general marquis arrived!
Hendrick pointed his finger and roared. All the air in the world was his to command!
The wind gathered in large amounts, twisting and twirling with increasing momentum and powerful before transforming into a tornado.
The destructive vortex of violently rotating wind descended and shredded all things that met it. All creation within five yards of the tornado was pulled inside and shredded into a thousand pieces.
This was Hendrick's best skill and almost the most unstable one. It was beyond his control once it was formed!
The tornado was like a harbinger of death and destruction as it moved through the sea of crawlers, laying waste to everything in its wake.
If Leon's guards were still competing for kills, the general marquis would be the clear winner!
He arrived late but the number of crawlers that died under his attack already broke into the hundred thousand and continued to soar.
It would have no problem reaching the millions!
"The general marquis is here!"
"Praise the general marquis!"
Such calamitous technique would hardly go unnoticed. The commoners saw and cheered immediately.
The general marquis had always been defending west and was revered as a hero by the people. In this moment, he was like a war god.
Leon did not envy the general marquis strength. It was a joke for someone who had formally achieved the Divine. He wasn't entranced like everyone else and focused on the important task at hand.
"Do not stop moving! The general marquis has bought us time! Use this chance to retreat now!" Leon barked.
The people quickly recovered with a start and quickly entered the Upper Districts.
The general marquis killed millions, yes, but it was only a small fraction of their numbers. There were at least tens of millions on the surface and for every crawler they kill, ten more would crawl out.
There didn't seem to be an end to their numbers unless they seal the rift.
The Queen, who was up in the Royal Palace also witnessed the sight. She had been paying attention to the whole Capital from above, but never left. She saw the bigger picture. The crawlers weren't their only enemies.
"So, you have figured out the next step to transcend." Elizabeth said with interest, before looking up at the clouds in the night sky.
"The winds of change have begun to blow."
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